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FACT CHECK: Indigent senior citizens entitled to P1,000 pension, not P12,000


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FACT CHECK: Indigent senior citizens entitled to P1,000 pension, not P12,000
A video falsely claims that all senior citizens are set to receive P12,000 monthly pensions. Only indigent senior citizens are eligible, and the amount is pegged at P1,000.

Claim: All senior citizens will receive a P12,000 monthly pension from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The video containing the claim was posted on March 6 by a YouTube channel with 172,000 subscribers. As of writing, it has 38,547 views, 1,000 likes, and 419 comments. 

The thumbnail and title of the video bear the claim: “Kakapasok lang! 12k ayuda buwanan na ang payout para sa mga senior citizen, sa wakas sasaya na kayo” (Just in! 12k monthly payouts for senior citizens, you will finally be happy).

The facts: In a public advisory on March 10, the DSWD clarified that it has no program offering P12,000 aid to senior citizens as claimed in the video. Furthermore, only indigent senior citizens can receive a monthly social pension based on Republic Act 11916, or the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens Act. Contrary to the claim, however, they will receive P1,000 monthly, not P12,000.

The video featured audio from an interview with Senator Imee Marcos on Vanguard Radio Network’s Balita Alas Sieto program. While Marcos talked about the social pension, there was no mention of a P12,000 monthly pension for all senior citizens.

Pension for indigent seniors:  Republic Act 11916 doubles the monthly social pension for indigent seniors from P500 to P1,000 to support their daily needs and medical expenses. While it lapsed into law in 2022, its implementation began in 2024, with the Caraga Region beginning the payouts in January.

The DSWD has an allocation of P49.81 billion in the 2024 national budget to support over four million indigent senior citizens nationwide with a doubled pension.

DSWD support: The DSWD said it provides additional support to elderly individuals struggling with daily expenses through its existing program Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS). The program aims to help meet the needs of individuals or families experiencing crisis by providing support to cover transportation, funeral, medical, food, and education expenses, among others.

Individuals seeking cash assistance and other forms of aid are required to submit necessary documents directly to the nearest DSWD office. AICS does not provide an online application form. The amount of assistance granted to individuals varies and is determined through a screening process conducted by social workers.

Official news: For official updates on the social pension for indigent senior citizens and DSWD programs and services, refer to the official DSWD website and its social media accounts on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube.Chinie Ann Jocel R. Mendoza/Rappler.com

Chinie Ann Jocel R. Mendoza is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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